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OPT030: Low Vision - Advanced

This module aims to provide eye care practitioners with the knowledge and skills to provide a high standard of advanced low vision care.

It builds on the core knowledge acquired in OPT001: Low Vision 1 - Theory and OPT002: Low Vision 2 - Practical to develop an ability to deliver low vision care to more complex low vision cases and specialist populations.

This course is designed for anyone who has a Professional Certificate in Low Vision and wants to provide advanced low vision care in the community or in a hospital setting.

This module is accredited for the College of Optometrists' Higher Professional Certificate in Low Vision. Students looking to obtain the Higher Certificate must already hold the Professional Certificate or be accredited for the Low Vision Service Wales.

Practitioners without access to a wide enough range of low vision patients can still complete the advanced module without applying for the College Higher Certificate. Those choosing this path will be not be required to complete a logbook and will have a reduced number of formal cases to present.

This module runs over 2 semesters and complements OPT006 and OPT007.

Start dateSeptember
DurationTwo academic terms
Credits20 credits - CET points available
PrerequisitesOPT001 OPT002
Module tutorsMarek Karas (Leader)
Barbara Ryan
Module codeOPT0300

Learning objectives

Following the completion of this module a practitioner will able to demonstrate:

  • a detailed knowledge of the causes and epidemiology of low vision in specialist groups of patients. These groups are:
    • children and young people
    • those in transition to adulthood
    • people of working age
    • people with learning disabilities
    • people with dual sensory loss
    • people with a neurological and cognitive impairment
    • people with non-organic sight loss
    • people with profound and multiple disabilities
    • black, minority and ethnic groups
    • people with profound sight loss
    • those undergoing treatment, for example people currently receiving therapy for retinal disease
    • people with cortical visual impairments.
  • an awareness of the impact that key factors have on these specialist groups, including premature birth, ageing and cultural background
  • an ability to assess and manage patients in these specialist groups
  • a detailed knowledge of optical and non-optical devices and demonstrate an ability to prescribe a selection of these
  • an understanding of the interaction of mental health and low vision
  • an understanding of the evidence base for low vision rehabilitation
  • an ability to communicate effectively with patients, carers and fellow professionals in meaningful and innovative ways
  • an understanding of the legislation and guidelines underpinning low vision practice.

How the module will be delivered

This module is taught via lectures (Powerpoint with audio) via Learning Central, the University’s e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied.

There are two practical teaching days consisting of workshops days. There is a viva of your full case write ups which will be conducted online.

There are also 3 online sessions of guided case-based learning, allowing students to revise and apply their knowledge in a virtual setting. There are three timetabled webinars designed to support students during the module.

How the module will be assessed

This module contains formative and summative assessments through the two semesters.

Direct observation of practical skills (0%): During the training day we will assess a range of your practical skills that are being taught in the workshop sessions. The results of these assessments do not contribute to the overall module mark but you must show you can complete the practical tasks to complete the module

Long answer question (20%): Students will be asked to explore the epidemiology affecting four of the specialist groups in a long answer paper.

Written course discussion (40%): Students will be asked to discuss a case based on clinical case information given to them in the question.

Full case records (40%): Students will be required to submit case records from their clinical practice. For those wishing to achieve the College Higher Certificate in Low Vision this will be 10. For anyone else this will be 6. There will be a viva of case records.

The pass mark is 50% for each element.

Syllabus content

  • Low vision assessment for a child, working adult, person with a learning disability, person with a neurological condition
  • Telescopic and electronic low vision aids
  • Complex low vision aids (bioptics, prisms, and mirrors)
  • Psychological impact of sight loss including depression
  • Assessing visual function: new methods
  • Models of service provision
  • Measuring service impact.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic skills:

  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding to higher level
  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning.

Subject-specific skills:

  • To be aware of recent research in visual impairment and accepted clinical practice in the discipline
  • Develop empathy with people who have visual impairment
  • To develop practical skills to assess and manage people with visual impairment
  • Appropriate referral pathways.

Generic skills:

  • Time management
  • Working independently
  • Develop IT skills, particularly with respect to online discussion forums
  • Improve problem solving skills
  • Communication skills.